Retired Sen. John Warner (R-VA), former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is calling for Senate's Armed Services and Intelligence committees to have a key role in formulating climate change legislation, sister publication Carbon Control News reports. This recommendation, the online news service reports in its blog -- In the Air -- ” reflects a growing push by cap-and-trade proponents to cast the climate change debate as a national security priority.”
Warner was a key sponsor of climate change legislation during the last Congress, and since having left the Senate in 2008 he has become spokesman for the newly formed Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate.
Speaking July 22 at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Warner also said the foreign relations panel chaired by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) should be the central committee driving the climate bill through the Senate. Approximately six committees currently claim jurisdiction over pending climate change legislation, and Warner's suggestion would further broaden that process.
Kerry said Warner's idea “is an excellent suggestion we will follow up on,” and told reporters that national security implications of climate change will likely be a feature of the final bill. He stopped short, however, of promising a full national security title as suggested by Warner.
Backing a role for the military in U.S. climate policy, Warner said “they deserve a title in this bill,” in light of the role the Defense Department is likely to play in responding to climate change exacerbated natural disasters and armed conflicts around the world.